As part of his wedding preparations, Vijay Rajak had a bathroom added to his house so that his wife wouldn't have to walk miles to a lake like other women from his village in the east Indian coal state of Jharkhand.

He connected the bathroom tap to a storage tank powered by an electric water pump, but his effort was scuppered by frequent power outages in his village, which have also hit other parts of India amid a heatwave-driven power crisis over the past month.

Extreme heat in India has pushed up electricity use to unprecedented highs with people cranking up their air-conditioning, causing widespread power cuts since April as utilities scrambled to meet demand amid dwindling coal supplies.